REGINA -- A Regina City Councillor who proposed a ban on oil industry sponsorships of city-owned facilities appears to be backing down.

The motion was brought forward by Ward 6 Councillor Daniel LeBlanc at an Executive Committee meeting, proposing energy companies be banned from sponsorship and naming rights of city buildings and advertising.

Leblanc has since said he will withdraw the motion at this week’s council meeting, following a strong public reaction to the issue.

“It is clear that the community is very divided,” Leblanc said in a Facebook post. “I received a lot of positive feedback, but I also learned that many people are angry and anxious about my motion.”

The motion sparked a petition campaign by Regina Conservative MP Michael Kram that has gathered 4,500 signatures opposed to Leblanc’s proposal, and only 61 in favour.

“I was very disappointed by the proposal to ban oil and gas companies. I think that oil and natural gas companies are a very important part of our economy and an important part of our community,” Kram said.

Saskatchewan Green Party Leader Naomi Hunter is spearheading a campaign to get the motion passed by council.

“If Regina has committed to going to renewable energy by 2050 and this motion is a step in that direction, then we can’t have every single time progressive councillors put a motion forward having it be thought that they can just be threatened out of that,” Hunter said.

The amendment was passed by the committee with a vote of seven to four. If approved by council, it would see non-renewable energy-based companies added to a list of companies or organizations that compromise the city's reputation along with tobacco, cannabis, pornography and weapons.

Those wanting to weigh in on the issue will have to do so quickly. The matter is scheduled to be back before city council on Wednesday, for a possible decision.